11. Active versus passive archives

At this point it is probably fair to describe both tDAR and ADS as passive archives. By this we mean that while the digital objects can be accessed and acquired for various purposes the archive itself does not support manipulation of the datasets. Any analysis must be done once the files have been downloaded. Work described by Koller and associates (Koller et al. 2009) introduces the option to actively access 3-D scanned digital heritage objects using specialised software (ScanView). As we noted above, in that article and others (Doerr and Stork 2009) the authors make the important point that not all digital objects can be freely distributed and that specialised tools and rights management may be needed to bridge the gap between data owners needs and concerns and wider dissemination. The European 3D-COFORM initiative is also developing what we would term active archive strategies and tools for 3-D heritage scanned objects. As they state:

We also propose a design of the 3D-COFORM repository, based on the integrated repository platform (which is implemented using existing open source repository technology and innovative native XML 3D-technology). The repository will be the place where all digital artefacts are physically stored. The repository supports all textual and 2D and 3D artefact representations that are used in 3D-COFORM. It provides the essential services: ingest storage, access, as well as mark-up, indexing, and retrieval. (Doerr and Stork 2009)

Other activities of the project involve creation of a '3D-COFORM Integrated Browser' and other tools to access and interact with the 3-D data. Over the next few years we would anticipate these alternative approaches will yield an environment that integrates the best elements of each.

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